Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 16, 2018

Kaia Kater (pictured) is on a roll, Headstones stay relevant, and Elizabeth Shepherd brings Montreal stories to life. Others in the headlines include the El Mocambo, Leonard Cohen, Harrison, Kris Wu, Dave McEathron, Al Purdy, Reuben and the Dark, Tokyo Police Club, USMCA, Chinese streaming, Universal Music, ticketing, Pirate Studios, cassettes, promoters, Latin Grammys, Jeff Tweedy, Ted Nugent, George Clinton, and Justin Bieber.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 16, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Rising star Kaia Kater looks for the right fit

The Canadian roots singer/songwriter is receiving rave reviews for her new album Grenades. –  Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

The Headstones stay relevant and healthy 25 years after their debut record

Hugh Dillon can certainly wax poetic about the album, Picture of Health, the band and those early days. But the word that seems to spring up the most in conversation with him about Picture of Health is “lucky.” – Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

El Mocambo’s neon palm returns as owner shows off huge, ambitious changes

There is, once again, light at the end of the tunnel — or above the front doors, at least — for Toronto live-music lovers eagerly awaiting the rebirth of El Mocambo. A brand-spankin’-new replica of the “neon palm” sign was lit on Thursday evening amidst as much pomp and circumstance as rock ’n’ roll will allow. –  Ben Rayner, Toronto Star


Leonard Cohen’s afterlife

A posthumous collection, finished days before his death, reveals the artist at his most intimate. – Charles Foran, The Walrus

How Toronto electronic musician Harrison overcame imposter syndrome

The producer poured himself into piano lessons, opening up a world of songwriting freedom that you can hear on his sophomore album, Apricity. – Michael Rancic, NOW

Jazz singer-songwriter Elizabeth Shepherd sets Montreal's untold stories to funky grooves

The four-time Juno Award nominee kicked off her tour with a multimedia concert at the NAC Fourth Stage. –  Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Canadian-Chinese star Kris Wu jokes about bot controversy after Ariana Grande fans cry foul

Ariana Grande fans had speculated that Wu had been using bots to bag the top seven song rankings after he managed to block Grande from the No. 1 spot with her latest single “thank u, next”. – Becca Longmire, ET Canada

Handmade music from a local craftsman

Hamilton singer/songwriter Dave McEathron painstakingly crafts every aspect of his new album, including its unique leather cover. – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Five reasons to check out Al Purdy tribute Beyond Forgetting

Rodney DeCroo performs at the Al Purdy tribute/book launch Beyond Forgetting Nov. 22 at the Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver.  – Shawn Conner, Vancouver Sun

What does it mean for a Toronto artist to "make it" in the music industry?

Local and international musicians came together to discuss the meaning of success at the opening of Hxouse. – Sumiko Wilson, NOW


Calgary band Reuben and the Dark vows show will go on after highway crash

Lead singer Reuben Bullock says no one was hurt but their vehicles were "totalled" in the accident last week. – CP

Book review: Live at the Cellar

In this thoroughly engaging and well-researched look at the cooperative jazz club scene from 1955 — 1965, author Marian Jago tries to expand the narrative around influential regional Canadian jazz musicians. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

Tokyo Police Club talk dropping their 'generic rock stardom goals' to make new TPC album

The unpolished Toronto alt-rock band with a tendency to write about personal shortcomings is back with its fourth full-length album, produced by Rob Schnapf. –  Karen Bliss, Billboard


A break for Canadian creators? Maybe. - Canadian copyright revision required under US/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA)

Under the recently-signed USMCA, Canada agreed to harmonize its copyright law with US law, amongst other matters, and extend creator rights in Canada for an additional 20 years.The term of copyright will henceforth be for the life of the author plus 70 years thereafter.–  Dentons, 

Streaming music industry in China is growing, $600 million investment

One of China’s leading internet and online game services providers recently announced that its music streaming platform NetEase Cloud Music has completed its previously announced round of financing with investors, including strategic partner Baidu, General Atlantic, Boyu Capital and several other investors. The total amount raised was over $600M. – John Davis, Radio Facts

Business focus: Universal Music put up for sale just as streaming reaches its high tide moment

As investors with an ability to call the top of the market go, there are few sharper than Vincent Bolloré. The French billionaire has carved out a fearsome reputation as a corporate raider across the channel. – Evening Standard


The other playlists: How behavior shapes songs

The impulse to press play goes beyond random desire: Music augments reality, making even the most mundane activities blissful. For decades, fans have owned that process, choosing their own soundtracks. Now, in an era of streaming successes and socials, the music business has transformed into a moments business. What’s it all mean? – AWAL

Ticket sellers, promoters & streaming giants discuss how consumer data boosts ticket sales at Billboard Live Music Summit

Panelists from AEG, Ticketmaster, Spotify, Bandsintown, See Tickets and Eventellect discussed the importance of cohesion in 21st century ticketing. – Chris Eggertsen, Billboard


Pirate Studios raises $20M for self-serve music studios

Pirate operates  350 studios in 21 locations in London, New York and Berlin, with plans to grow internationally. The funding will be used to build more music studios in the US and Europe. The round was led by Talis Capital with Talis’ Matus Maar named as a co-founder of the startup. – Hypebot

Cassette tapes are back, and don't you dare call them obsolete

Everything old is new again and the much-maligned audio format is making a comeback. – Jacqueline Detwiler  Popular Mechanics

The legendary promoters of rock: inside an eye-opening new documentary

The Show’s The Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock lays out how Frank Barsalona blueprinted the modern concert business (now a $10bn industry), along the way changing how audiences relate to the music, while also providing crucial support for some of its greatest stars. –  Jim Farber, The Guardian

Talent and touring

Latin Grammy preview: The young Ángela Aguilar leads a bold new wave of female acts

Forty-nine Latin Grammy categories are to be awarded in Las Vegas on Thursday, and this year’s telecast should bring two trends to the forefront. One will celebrate the increasingly dominant crossover artists who appeal to an audience that doesn’t need to understand Spanish to get down. The other is the emergence of a bold new wave of leading female acts. –  Justino Aguila, LA Times

Suit: Widow duped 'Mustang Sally' writer out of rights

The estate of the late Sir Mack Rice, who wrote and sang "Mustang Sally," is suing a California company and Rice’s widow for allegedly tricking him into signing over the rights to the famous rhythm and blues classic and other songs at below their true value. –  Mike Martindale, Detroit News

American curmudgeon: On Jeff Tweedy

The Wilco frontman has just written one of the best and most revealing memoirs in years. – Lindsay Zoladz, The Ringer

Ted Nugent says 'Canada is absolutely crazy' for legalizing recreational marijuana

The mouthy rocker claims he has "never seen one moment of positive outcome from someone getting high." –  Blabbermouth


George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic plotting final tour

Final tour dates have yet to be announced, but George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are embarking on a final tour. The One Nation Under a Groove trek is being prepped to kick off sometime in 2019, capping over 50 years of touring and recording. –  The Music Universe

Vevo announces its Artists To Watch list for 2019

No Canadian acts are included on the international list. – MBW

Justin Bieber is too overwhelmed to make music, but that's exactly what he should do

Justin Bieber has fallen victim to passionate love, one of the most common and dangerous human afflictions. But there’s a downside to the pop star’s newly wedded bliss: Bieber is taking an indefinite hiatus from making new music, at least according to a source close to him. – Helen Holmes, Observer

Norman Wong



Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

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